Updated: Jul 13, 2020
If I die because I teach, what will happen to my family? Who will be there for all those moments where my kids want their mother and who will help them cope with their loss? Will my three-year-old comprehend what is going on? Will he ask where I am when he is being tucked into bed at night, wanting a kiss on the cheek from his mama? Will he instead lie in bed having a tear roll down that cheek instead? Will my six-year-old be asked to return to school shortly after the funeral? How will she respond when she sees a parent tell their child that they do not need that mask? How many times will she ask, why?
If I die because I teach, how will my family survive financially? How long will that last paycheck last and who will pay for the funeral? Who will pay the hospital bills? Will my kids additionally lose their home, the place filled with sweet memories? Will they wonder if my life truly saved the economy as they see their father stress over every penny spent?
If I die because I teach, will the school send out an email to parents and students to learn of the loss of their teacher as they casually check their cell phones on their couches in the evening? Will someone call them on the phone to tell them the news? Who would take my spot in the classroom knowing what happened? Who will help my students process and reduce their anxiety about returning to the classroom where they know Covid lurked? What will happen to the student that knows they tested positive two days before I did? Who will be there for them as they wonder night after night if they were the one who gave it to their teacher? Would my students ever be able to learn in that room again? Would they be wondering, why?
If I die because I teach, will the government care? Will my husband receive a letter signed by the president acknowledging the sacrifice that was made? Would the Secretary of Education petition to Congress for funds to be made available to assist the families of staff members of schools that did not make it through the crisis? Will it even be acknowledged besides a local news brief? Will they learn that they should have switched to distance learning sooner rather than later? Will I be one name in a list of thousands for people to scroll through?
If I die because I teach, will my family always wonder what life would be like if I taught at home? Will they wonder why I needed to go to school when I had already created a distance learning curriculum in the summer? Will my husband be able to explain to my children why I spent my summer vacation creating that curriculum instead of pushing them more often on the swing? How could I ever replace those missed opportunities? Will they be left with a void that can never be healed?
If I die because I teach, will they wonder why I did not quit?